December 14th, 2009
04:02 PM ET

Catherine Zeta-Jones takes on Broadway

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Catherine Zeta-Jones made her Broadway debut in “A Little Night Music” at the Walter Kerr theater Sunday night.

While reviews of the actresses performance have been mixed, the one thing most reviewers (particularly those with a Y chromosome) seem to agree on is that she looked positively gorgeous onstage and off.

The Academy Award winner took on the role of aging actress and habitual maneater Desiree Armfeldt, in the Stephen Sondheim revival, opposite veteran stage actress Angela Lansbury (who has been awarded raves as per usual).

In the New York Times, critic Ben Brantley praised Zeta-Jones’ "lively Broadway debut" and said: "In addition to being drop-dead gorgeous in David Farley's wasp-waisted period dresses, Ms Zeta Jones brings a decent voice, a supple dancer's body and a vulpine self-possession to her first appearance on Broadway."

Variety’s David Rooney praised the "luminous" Zeta-Jones, calling her "bewitching, confident and utterly natural.”

Emma Brockes of The Guardian was less bewitched by the actress’ beauty and more critical of her technique. “While Catherine Zeta-Jones can act and sing, she can't do both at once in this production – at least not in one take,” Brockes wrote in the London newspaper.

"When Zeta-Jones steps on stage the anxiety of the audience is palpable. You feel bad for her. At the opening bars of ‘Send in the Clowns’, she gets a look on her face like something terrible is about to happen, which it is."

Peter Marks of the Washington Post concurred, saying: “Catherine Zeta-Jones is not ideally cast as regretful, wistful Desiree in Trevor Nunn's virtually never-right revival of the suavely farcical ‘A Little Night Music.’”

The 40-year-old actress and mother of two children with husband Michael Douglas, began her career onstage in London’s West End, but has been more popular in television and movie roles for nearly two decades.

Despite the mixed reviews, fans of the actress are flocking to the theater. In a time when Broadway sales are struggling, tickets for “A Little Night Music,” are being offered for nearly $300 on eBay.

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Filed under: Celebrities
December 14th, 2009
01:42 PM ET

Hugh Grant ties one on and scores a mint

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Most folks lose their phones or send unfortunate text messages when they’re drunk. Hugh Grant  made a profit of $18 million.

The star of “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” was lauded as an art connoisseur in 2001 when he bought an Andy Warhol portrait of Elizabeth Taylor for $3 million. His timing was thought to be impeccable six years later when he sold it for $21 million in 2007.

But it was less of an eye for art and more of a love of drink that led to the sale. Grant recently admitted he had been on a two-day bender when he ordered an assistant to bid on the painting at a Sotheby’s auction in New York.

Grant’s faithful assistant indulged his boozy whim. “To my horror, she did, and even worse, got it,” Grant recently admitted in an interview while doing press for his new romantic comedy with Sarah Jessica Parker.

“It all began with drink. I'd been having a drunken dinner with my father the night before, and I said, 'We ought to go see my brother Jamie. You know, the Concorde's amazing.' And he said, 'I hear it is.' So I bought him a Concorde ticket and we went. We had lunch, drank a lot of beer. And I was thinking about some stuff in the Sotheby's auction and I saw the Liz Taylor.”

Grant also said that even though the sale of the painting bolstered his bank account, he wished he had hung onto it. "I slightly regret selling it now, even though it made me rich," the actor said in an interview posted on the UK's Daily Mail website.

The pop art painting was one of several portraits Warhol created at the height of his fame and creative output in the 1960s.

December 11th, 2009
03:18 PM ET

The Duggars new addition

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The Duggar family got an early Christmas present on Thursday when they welcomed their 19th child at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science.

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, the stars of the TLC reality show “18 Kids and Counting,” delivered their daughter Josie Brooklyn, weighing 1 lb., 6 oz., in an emergency C-section three months prior to her March due date.

Michelle Duggar was airlifted to the Arkansas hospital earlier this week with gallbladder issues.

“Michelle is resting comfortably and baby is stable and in the NICU for extended care. The most important thing right now is for Mom and baby Josie to get as much rest as possible.  The family is grateful for all the prayers and well wishes during their recovery,” a statement on the TLC website said.

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar released a video statement prior to the baby's birth thanking fans for their support.

"Thank you for all the well wishes we have been receiving," Michelle said in the video taped prior to the birth. "I am feeling much better. The gallstone has kind of calmed down a little bit, [my] blood pressure is still kind of getting regulated, and the baby sounds good."

The Duggars are the parents of 18 other children and the grandparents to one.

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Filed under: television
December 11th, 2009
01:33 PM ET

"Top Chef" finale pulled in season high ratings

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Not everyone was pleased with the selection of ornery little brother Michael Voltaggio as Bravo’s newest “Top Chef,” but plenty of folks tuned in to see him beat out his brother Bryan and down home favorite Kevin Gillespie, delivering season high ratings for the reality cooking show.

The last episode of the Las Vegas, Nevada-based season pulled in 3.4 million viewers to watch the final three chefs prepare a four-course meal for the judges at the Napa Valley restaurant Cyrus.

The food porn show picked up fans over the course of the season. The finale drew nearly 1 million more viewers than the season opener back in August.

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Filed under: television
December 10th, 2009
04:55 PM ET

Paul McCartney: Marriage to Heather Mills was a bad decision

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Anyone who followed the nasty divorce between Paul McCartney and Heather Mills shouldn't be surprised that the former Beatle believes his last marriage to be one of his biggest mistakes of the past decade.

No one could look back on how the six-year union ended between the singer-songwriter and the former model last year, with tears, name-calling and a massive divorce settlement and think on it fondly.

But now for the first time, McCartney is telling Q magazine that it indeed was not the best of times. Asked whether the wedding was one of his worst decisions in the last decade, the music legend said it was a "prime contender". FULL POST

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Filed under: Music • The Beatles
December 10th, 2009
01:38 PM ET

Adam Lambert returns to ABC on 'The View'

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In a pre-taped interview and performance, Adam Lambert finally made a return to ABC on “The View” Thursday morning, proving once again that his racy performance at the “American Music Awards” last month was a one-time deal and that he is able to act like a perfect gentleman on-camera and onstage.

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg took on the elephant in the room, that Lambert’s interview and performance on the morning show had been pre-taped a couple of days earlier because of network concern over what could happen during a live taping. Lambert shocked ABC and America with his AMA performance where he kissed his male keyboardist on the mouth and simulated oral sex with a dancer.  FULL POST

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